28/07/2010

Don't Miss.

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Nah, I reckon I'll be alright if I do miss it, cheers.

What Do Flying Ants Look Like?

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Cheers, Metro.

OUTRAAAAAAAAAGE.

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Uh-oh.

There's more OUTRAGE coming.

I hope you're ready.
[Jeremy Clarkson] provoked a flurry of complaints after telling viewers of Top Gear on Sunday night that he had seen a Muslim woman wearing saucy underwear beneath her gown...

...By yesterday morning, seven viewers had already contacted the BBC to complain, while singer Lily Allen labelled the comment 'distasteful' on her Twitter site.
That's seven. Seven people complained about the most watched show on BBC 2.

And this is 'outrage'.

It's a good thing that the Daily mail have never published anything objectionable that might cause offence, an- OH HANG ON:
The Press Complaints Commission has received a record 22,000 complaints about Jan Moir's article about Stephen Gately since Friday – more complaints in a single weekend than the regulator has received in total in the past five years.
We haven't fucking forgotten about this you know, chaps. People still remember that you published the most complained about article in UK publishing history, and continue to employ the author of it so she can vomit her outdated, outmoded ways all over the internet for reactionary idiots across the country to read, then strip to the waist while running around the garden bellowing about immigrants eating the Queen's swans while wearing a monocle and smoking a pipe while the wife plays an old 45 of 'God Save the Queen'.

Anyway.

Thinking about it, if the Daily Mail were a robot, Clarkson would be the thing that you could use to make it short circuit and explode. He works for the BBC (Boo socialist lefty scum!), but he seems to have a general disdain for the Labour Party, and as a rule holds some rather right-wing views (Whether he believes them or not is a different story).

What's even more confusing is when (like in the comments of this story) Mail readers say that he's just being deliberately shocking, in a paper that prints the myopic and bigoted scribblings of one Richard Littlejohn - a man who writes deliberately hackneyed and controversial views of the world because he knows it will help his image as a man who 'pulls no punches'... Sound like anybody else (With curly hair and a programme about cars) that you know?

To be fair, the top rated comments disagree with the Mail's painfully obvious anti-BBC bias, and I think that quite often the most interesting information you can gleam from the Mail is when the stories and the commenters have differing opinions of the matter. If Clarkson were on any channel other than the BBC, the Mail would laud him as a non-PC hero for the Chipping Norton, big car, middle England, I've-never-seen-a-black-man-but-I've-read-about-them-and-they-sound-horrible set, but because he dare to be employed by an organisation that the Mail almost literally doesn't have a nice word for, he's damned to hell and back.

It's also worth mentioning that while half the story criticises Clarkson for saying what he did, then explaining (With the glee of a pig in shit) that he's been in trouble before, the rest of the article is filled with anti-Burka and Niqab sentiment that is a staple of the Mail. I mean for fuck's sake, if you're going to be a dick and pretend to be mortally offended at someone, don't go disagreeing with them a hundred words later, Christ.

Oh, just to put those seven complaints in perspective:

Top Gear had 5,800,000 viewers on Sunday. That's one complaint per 828,571 people. The Mail has a circulation of around 2,000,000, and received 22,000 complaints for the Gately article. That's one complaint for every 90 people.

26/07/2010

Irresponsible Fear Farming.

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Read this.

Right, now you've read the whole thing, hands up who thinks that the headline should be "EURO POLICE COULD SOON BE ALLOWED TO INVESTIGATE BRITONS IN UK, ASSUMING THE GOVERNMENT OPTS IN TO A SCHEME THAT WOULD ALSO ALLOW BRITISH POLICE TO TRACK FOREIGN SUSPECTS - ALTHOUGH WE DON'T KNOW TO WHAT EXTENT THE LAW WILL STRETCH YET"?

Scaremongering over a non story that contains far too many 'could's, 'might's and 'in theories', of course; but it's about Europe, so where did it appear in another one of the UK's papers today?

15670758

Ah. Yeah.

Outrage. OUTRAGE.

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There's outrage brewing again.

There fucking is, it's coming. It's rumbling towards us like a giant bastard of a fuckcloud, ready to rain down tedious, middle England hatred.

It's coming...

Here it comes...
It's not a particularly helpful phrase...
BOOM! There's some real fucking rage right there, huh? I'm telling you, the person who said that must have been fucking fuming:- I can only assume the person quoted screamed that as their eyes burst in anger and their head split, snot blood and tears all congealing as they ooze onto the floor...

You can probably guess the score; The Mail have created themselves a bit of faux-outrage again (This time over a couple of ill-chosen words appearing in the background of a scene in Emmerdale), which they struggle to back up in the story and then unravels completely when the readers get their best crayons out to scribble their thoughts on the bottom of the page. The Mail talks of the aforementioned 'outrage', 'criticism' and 'slamming', and they demonstrate just how angry THE ENTIRE WORLD is with quotes from two people:- Namely mothers who were appalled that their children were exposed to such filth, and they didn't want to have to explain to their children what a 'jam rag' was.

Fair Enough.

Now, I'd like to interrupt this post to quickly post a few Emmerdale Spoilers and recaps here:

Leaving Zak alone, Sam hurries after Alfie in the grounds of Home Farm, only to be hit by an awful stench.

He's horrified to find that Alfie has dug up what appears to be a body.
emmerdale_5667_4
Unfortunately while Shadrach was walking over the river he half collapsed from his liver disease and dropped his cans of beer in to the lake, upon retrieving them he was unable to hold his balance, from both the heavy drinking he'd done that day along with another sharp pain from his liver disease and he collapsed in to the river and drowned.
So, tasteful, family friendly entertainment all round then.

According to the Mail, Mediawatch also slammed the programme, although the actual quote doesn't seem to indicate quite the level of rage they imply:
It's not a particularly helpful phrase to refer to sanitary towels as "jam rags" , and it is unnecessary.

'It didn't need to be there at all.'
I'll give you a moment to regain your breath after reading that spewing torrent of offence, and then I want to look at the comments on the page:
comm
When even the readers of the Daily fucking Mail aren't too bothered, it's fair to say that any outrage has been made up by the author (Who, in this case, is that busy little bee the Daily Mail Reporter). In fact, do a Google search for the story, and try and find some 'outrage'.

Go on, I'll wait.
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.
.
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.
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...Find any? No, I didn't bloody think you would, because there's nothing to be offended about. If you don't want to have to explain it to your kids but haven't got a problem with explaining a bloke wearing just a hard hat on his cock, then you've got some fucked up priorities and I never ever want to come round to your house for tea; and if you genuinely don't find it funny, that's fine, but in the scheme of things, is it worth getting that worked up about, really?

Look at the Stabwounds on Her.

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Untitled

Two things immediately strike me about this:

1: It's safe to assume that the above picture sn't the first picture of her whatsoever. As a human being living in this digital age, there are probably more than one pictures of her somewhere in the world.

2: What kind of murder porn is this?

"Look!" Screams the Mail. "Come and look at the dead woman! Come and see a picture of what she looked like before she was brutally STABBED to death! We hear she might have had her throat slit, but still, come and gawp at a photo of her! Tell your friends!"

The rest of the story deals with unnamed sources, unconfirmed information and hearsay, including speculation that the woman had her throat cut, which is nothing but using Chinese whispers in order to pad out copy.

Seriously, there's very little actual fact in this story:
Police believe the 26-year-old mother's attacker, who may have been on a bicycle, was known to her.

The victim, named locally as Jane Clough, was ambushed as she left Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she is thought to have worked.
A source named her former lover as Jonathan Vass...
It is understood Mr Vass was charged with three alleged rapes in December 2009 and was suspended from duty.

A source told the Daily Mail Mr Vass had left his wife, who was also a nurse at the hospital, for Miss Clough.

He and Miss Clough are said to have had a one-year-old child together.
And it goes on and on, all the way through the article.

Once again, the Mail is simply posting the assertions of sources to capitalise on a horrible story, not letting things like fact checking get in the way of being first to splurge this tat on their websites - And we all know how well that went for the Star recently...

24/07/2010

Yeah, What She Said.

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The other day, I read This.

In that post is the following line:
Reporting [a person's] assertions as if they are absolute fact is not journalism.
Unfortunately, it wasn't entirely surprising to see this in the Mail today - a story which is basically identical to the last one. A company is having trouble employing staff, and as a result it's all the fault of benefits culture because the person doing the employing says so; end of story.

Interestingly, owner Diane Bayes refused two staff because "they had earrings and lots of tattoos", which as far as I remember, is against employment laws. Plenty of people have piercings and/or tattoos, and neither of those things stop them from being a good, hard working member of staff.

Ah, but did they know anything about fabrics?
I asked them what they knew about fabrics and they said they knew nothing but they had to come for the interview or they'd get in trouble with the Job Centre.
Oh, well, I suppose that's fair enough. I mean, you couldn't just employ someone who didn't know abou-
We would have trained the right person up and given them full help and back-up.
Well howabout you stop judging people based on how they look then?

It's also worth mentioning that in 2009, Selby had a lower than average rate of employment, and a search for 'Jobs in Selby', 'Selby jobs fabric' 'Malins Selby Jobs' and other such terms brought up absolutely no results whatsoever apart from the Daily Mail story.

These two pieces of information give rise to two alternate theories just as valid as Mrs Bayes':

Number 1: There aren't many people unemployed in the area, and as their online presence was seemingly quite weak (I will admit that the postings may have since been removed, but usually jobs stay around for some time - in my experience of applying for already filled vacancies at least), not many people knew about the vacancy, and if they did, thought "Well, I know fuck all about fabric, it's not for me".

Number 2: "How can we get some free advertising for our vacancies? Quickly, Diane, get the Mail on the phone and blame it on ZaNuLieBore!"

Actually, I'm going to throw in another, based on just as much solid evidence as the other two:

Number 3: The shop (and indeed, the entire universe) exist only in the mind of a sleeping cat curled around an immersion heater, and the cat simply cannot be arsed dreaming up another identikit middle aged Northern woman to go and work in a fabric shop in Yorkshire.

Use whichever one you like; I'm sticking with the last one.

Daily Star: 'News' Paper.

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news

Do the Star really think that little of their own content?

Grand Theft Apology.

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Some background: A few days ago, someone on the internets made a mock-up of a video game based on the Raoul Moat story.

It looked a bit like this:

GTA%20Moat

Which as you can see, is a quick 'n' dirty photoshop job that achieves nothing more than making a joke. It's obviously an amateur job, and completely different to Rockstar's art style.

So, obviously, the Star did this:

gtar

Now, that story has since been taken off the site (understandably, because it's all complete and utter hogwash), and many bloggers and gaming sites have already torn the Daily Star a new one.

Today, however, the Daily Star have published an apology.

And what an apology it is.

I think it's fair to say that Rockstar Games have some fucking impressive lawyers, judging by the smackdown they've laid on the Star here, but it raises a couple of bigger questions:

-What would have happened if Rockstar had gone through the PCC? A square inch on page 24, apologising for anything they 'implied', at best, most likely.

-Did the Star ever believe it was real? The image is very crudely done, and I can't believe that anyone would ever consider it to be real - One has to wonder whether The Star found the picture, considered the implications of posting it, and just thought "Fuck it."

It must be refreshing for Rockstar to be on the moral majority's side for a change as well, after the banning of Manhunt 2 and the furore over EVERY SINGLE GRAND THEFT AUTO GAME EVER, and it shows a patent lack of understanding of the gaming industry from the Daily Star. Rockstar's games aren't gritty dramas set in oppressive cityscapes, with great writing and characterisation, no: They're games where you murder people, avoid the police, and nothing else. This, in turn, raises questions about the legitimacy of the 'outrage' the papers stir up every so often with gaming:- surely if they bothered their arses to play these games, they'd know that they aren't just 'murder simulators' or 'rape games', they're good games that both engage and entertain the player, and to dismiss them as anything less is... well, frankly, appalling journalism.

The Star has been well and truly demolished on this, but it's sad that it took one of the world's richest video games developers and what I'd imagine is an army of lawyers to get a decent apology out of the Desmond owned, bottom feeding scumbags that are the Daily Star.

21/07/2010

Bring on the Wall.

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From The Graun:

The Times has lost almost 90% of its online readership compared to February since making registration mandatory in June, calculations by the Guardian show.


And aren't they happy about it.

What follows is some back-of-an-envelope maths including lots of 'if's and 'assuming's, which by the end of the article makes the paper sound like your mate in the pub who works out that if everyone paid a penny more in tax then we'd all be riding in crystal plated hoverlimos by next Wednesday.

Bad form.

Self Awareness is a Beautiful Thing.

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Good point.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Oh.

It's worth pointing out that these two screencaps are of the same page in this story.

The article on Nasir demonstrates what sort of society we live in by publishing comments like this:

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We all know what the Mail are like when it comes to the weight of female celebrities - They're too fat, too thin, 'stocky', 'skinny', 'saggy'... Basically unless your surname is Kardashian, you don't stand a shit's chance in a stormdrain* -although handwringing and moralising about how the Mail views women has been done countless times before by people more ennunciative than I like Anton Vowl, Upon Nothing and Tabloid Watch, and that's a can of worms I'm not prepared to delve into either way.

What annoys me is that there's somewhat of a continuity error on behalf of the Mail when it comes to the story: In the most recent article, it is said that "she had to wait six weeks until she could exercise" and "she couldn’t shift the extra weight after Bobby’s birth"; quotes that are accompanied by a clearly non-airbrushed, non made-up, poorly lit photo of Jennifer just after the birth.

But then in this story, just four weeks after giving birth, it's said that:

Looking slim but curvaceous, it’s impossible to tell Jennifer Ellison gave birth just four weeks ago.

The new mother, who has already lost most of her baby weight, bared all for her new role in Calendar Girls.

So make your fucking mind up, eh, Mail? Now I admit, for a change this actually seems to be a case of the Mail being overly nice to somebody, but the fact is, somewhere along the line, they were factually wrong.

Oh, and those "cruel comments" Ellison mentions?

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The Daily Mail, a simmering cesspit where sympathy and civility go to die.

*Funnily enough, Kardashian's in the Mail at the moment as well, in a story about... Erm... The fact she's been wearing a bikini recently.

10/07/2010

The Media and Raoul.

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I type this having just found out that the standoff between Raoul Moat and the police has ended with what seems to be a nonlethal gunshot.

I watched the BBCs live coverage for a few hours, and I can honestly say that at about 10pm someone in their editing team must have got bored.

I mean, look at him. With his pan on his head and that look on his face, what else can you think?

(Alternative final sentence: I didn't realise you could buy band branded helmets now.)

EDIT: Of course, we now know that gunshot was fatal, and Martin Robbins did a far better job of covering it than I did here.